We asked Andrea Correale, owner and creator of Elegant Affairs — a premiere catering and event-planning company serving Manhattan, Long Island, The Hamptons, Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey — for her top picks for must-try wedding foods.
They may not sound glamorous, but meatballs have made a big comeback— and they’re actually more wedding-appropriate than you might think. "Whether passing mini meatballs or an elaborate meatball focaccia bar, they make quite the statement," says Correale. "They are small but make a statement in their taste and presentation. It's become a staple during the cocktail hour," she explains. "What we’ve seen is couples asking for the non-traditional meatballs, like Kobe beef or Asian meatballs."
With the vegan trend growing in the U.S., more and more couples are requesting vegan menus or options for guests, Correale tells us, and one of the popular requests is vegan sushi. "This trend is truly on the rise. I’ve catered so many weddings this year, and almost every wedding request [includes] vegan Sushi."
Light and healthy, fruit and cheese combinations are big for the spring. "Couples want to treat their guests to savory dishes that are colorful and fresh," explains Correale. "One dish I’ve put together are mini watermelon feta stacks with aged balsamic syrup."
Lately, couples are into including their favorite foods in their menu, but some of the foods they enjoy aren’t exactly ideal for a formal affair, like chicken fingers, French fries or pizza. "What we’ve done is add a healthy twist and make it fancy. For example, pizza bars with gluten-free or whole-grain crusts," says Correale.
Food trucks are a huge trend this season and not just on a street corner near you. "Whether it’s a food truck serving up late-night pizza and ice cold beers, or a dessert truck serving up deep-fried Oreos and milk shakes as your guests depart, it’s one of the most fun and popular treats couples are giving to their guests," says Correale. "It takes your celebration to the next level. It’s a great lasting memory that your guests definitely won’t forget.”
Tacos never seem to go out of style. But this year, it’s fish tacos in particular that are gaining popularity. Picture bars set up with fresh-grilled fish and Asian-fusion toppings, like sesame guacamole, ginger tomato salsa and Napa cabbage slaw with yuzu, says Correale. Don’t like fish? Choose whatever fillings you like best.
Move away from traditional dinners and opt for something more casual. "For the first course, an elaborate display of antipasti components for the table to share can include warm burrata cheese, roasted red peppers, wedges of pecorino romano and crusty baguette breads with herbed olive oils," says Correale. "Then, all the guests are served a main course, and then all the sides are served family style," she says. "This really brings home the family feeling and creates a warm atmosphere for your guests to celebrate, connect and feel the love."
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Correale tells us that DIY ice cream sandwich bars instead of ice cream sundae bars are huge now. "Couples love their sweets and want to invest in giving their guests a fun treat at the end of the night, and they're loving ice cream sandwich bars."
Easy to hold and not too heavy, lettuce wraps make a perfect spring wedding appetizer. These feature various types of lettuces, such as radicchio, Bibb, butter and iceberg, with hoisin chicken, rice noodles and crunchy water chestnuts or shrimp with mango, avocado, lime juice and cilantro, notes Correale.
Though red velevet cupcakes are always a crowd pleaser and a classic sweet treat, it’s red velvet whoopie pies that are even more of a must-have at your spring or summer wedding. "These are still very popular this season, whether passed minis or jumbo on a station," says Correale.
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